My Favorite Child

 Posted by on March 5, 2010  Add comments  Tagged with: ,
Mar 052010
 


Yesterday, a friend called to tell me that she read my blog.

“I know,” I said apologetically. “I really shouldn’t blog when I’m over-tired.”

She replied, “No, you should! It was hi-larious!”

While yesterday’s post was written in jest as a way to let off steam, the facts of it were, sadly, entirely true. I adore my children, and I usually don’t have such a flippant attitude toward parenting (or such a potty mouth), but sometimes you just have to acknowledge when you’re defeated. And this week I have been. Lots of times.

Today is better. Bee has gone back to school, but my husband took her to the chiropractor this morning because she fell on some ice last weekend. Her X-rays showed that her neck is badly subluxated, so she has to go back again on Monday. Poor kid. Life has been hard for her lately.

Cakes also seems to be having a tough time. Yesterday she hit DJ, and though she didn’t hurt him, we still had a very somber discussion with her about it. Then, in the bathtub last night, she bit Bee. She had a problem with biting when she was much younger, but we thought she had completely outgrown it. This morning she wanted to “play” with DJ, who was sitting in his swing, and she chucked a toy right at his face.

My husband, who has a tremendous soft spot for her, says that Cakes is just “rough around the edges.” I have far less patience with her, largely because I just don’t understand her. When I was a child, I was like Bee…studious, conscientious, serious, careful, polite (Dad, I don’t want to hear it. If you call me, I’m not answering the phone).

Really, I was.

I can relate to Bee, but Cakes…I just don’t get her. She’s rambunctious, loud, impulsive, uninhibited. She’s also hilarious and entertaining, smart and imaginative. I love her so dearly, but I’ll admit that I sometimes find her endlessly exasperating.

Occasionally I have a bout of maternal guilt for feeling this way. I worry that Cakes will think that Bee is my favorite, simply because I’m not constantly yelling at her to calm down, like I do with Cakes. Or that DJ is my favorite because I’m always putting Cakes off so that I can tend to his needs. But the truth is, and I know that all parents say this, but I really do love each of my children equally. I see such beautiful, unique qualities in each of them, even tiny (well, I say tiny) DJ. He’s my favorite, because already, when I look in his eyes, I see an old soul. A gentle, sensitive boy, who will grow up to be a loving, passionate, devoted husband and father, just as his own father is. I know he’s only a month old, but trust me. A mother knows these things.

Bee is my favorite because she’s a shining star. In her I see a brilliant mind, a smart, capable girl with the ability to change the world. The sky is the limit for her. She is a person who, when she sees injustice, will try to correct it. She is a compassionate, tender heart who cries at Humane Society commercials depicting abused and neglected animals, and fiercely defends her siblings in the face of criticism. She just wants everyone to be happy, to love and be loved.

And Cakes. Cakes is my favorite because she’s a ray of sunshine, a child who looks at the world with enthusiasm and sees only possibilities. She is full of life, and though she’s sometimes an enigma, I catch a glimpse of her soul when she sees that I’m sad, and brings me her favorite stuffed animal. Or if I mention that my back hurts and she offers to rub it with her tiny hands, her touch so gentle I almost can’t feel it. Or when I ask if she’ll help me set the table, and she says, “Of course!” She’s my favorite because at least once a day, she makes me laugh. Hard.

I’m sure that someday, my children will have the same fight that I had with my brother. One will insist that the other was always Mom’s favorite, and it’s not fair, etc, etc. My hope is that they will read this and realize that I didn’t have one favorite child.

I had three.

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